Although a more regulated product could mean a safer product for consumers, Scott said, he also doesn’t see a decrease in crime happening with a passed state law, since heavily taxed legal marijuana might result in customers still turning to unlicensed dealers.
He said he doesn’t foresee a decrease in the county’s jail population, either, because it’s already decriminalized for people to carry 10 grams or fewer of marijuana, and only
30 percent of the population is a result of illegal drug activity with the intent to distribute.
“There’s a lot of work to be done at the legislative level, and I hope they take the time to do it,” Scott said.
Sycamore Police Chief Jim Winters said it’s especially hard for him to take a solid stance on the issue because there still are many unknowns about what unintended consequences may occur from legalizing pot in Illinois.
He said he also has concerns about home cultivation of plants, for example, since it’s unclear what effects it would have on property crimes and values, and there are not enough answers on how to make sure children don’t get ahold of edibles.
There’s not a lot of precedent for legalizing marijuana, Winters said. For him, there isn’t enough research to definitively determine whether it would be a good idea, he said.
“I think all those things have to be put at the table with the right people at the table,” Winters said.